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Catholic World News News Feature

China oppresses all Catholics, cardinal says October 04, 2006

Chinese officials oppress both the "underground" Church loyal to Rome and the "official" Catholic Church recognized by the government, according to Cardinal Joseph Zen.

"In China there is persecution-- not only of the so-called underground church but also of the official Church," Cardinal Zen said. Speaking in London, at a conference organized by Aid to the Church in Need, the prelate from Hong Kong said that the two branches of the Catholic Church are united by their suffering.

Although churches are full and congregations are active, the cardinal said, the Chinese government still tries to control each aspect of Catholic life. He pointed to the recent ordinations of new bishops, without approval from the Vatican. The bishops who participated in those ceremonies, he reported, were misled by government officials, and rued their involvement when they learned the Pope had not authorized the ceremonies.

Despite the government's efforts, Cardinal Zen said, Catholics are loyal to Rome. He reported that 85% of the bishops in the "official" Catholic Church have now won recognition from the Vatican.

[For a more detailed report see the AsiaNews web site.]

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